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Old Oct 26th 2017, 8:57 am   #1
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Default French credit cards

Hi all, first time poster here. I have a question about French credit cards, I found an old thread on the matter (I can't post the URL as I am a new poster) but it is now closed.

I have a current account with BNP Paribas and asked them if I could get a credit card that is not linked to my bank account but they said they do not offer such things. Indeed all the credit cards I've seen here are really debit cards, i.e. you can only use them to spend up to your account balance. This is no good if you want to use the card for short-term borrowing, as I'm used to doing in the UK. I get that the system here is designed to discourage excessive credit but in my view this is not customer-friendly. There must be a company here that issues Visa or Mastercards which are not linked to one's bank account, no? Many thanks.
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Old Oct 26th 2017, 9:14 am   #2
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Default Re: French credit cards

Hi
Welcome to the forum.
You can choose a card which is immediate payment i.e. a debit card or deferred payment i.e. a credit card.

Credit Agricole have a range of cards and I would imagine that other banks are similar.

https://www.credit-agricole.fr/listi...&id_rubrique=9

HTH
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Old Oct 26th 2017, 9:18 am   #3
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Default Re: French credit cards

Thanks but it's not really what I'm looking for. A deferred payment card is not a credit card in the UK sense, since it only allows me to spend up to the balance on my bank account. For example, if I have a balance of €5000 I can only spend that much. What I want is a card that will enable me to spend say €6000 on a holiday and pay it off as and when I choose (obviously taking a hit on interest charges). This is what I mean by short-term borrowing and it's how all credit cards work in the UK.
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Old Oct 26th 2017, 9:50 am   #4
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by viennesewaltz View Post
Thanks but it's not really what I'm looking for. A deferred payment card is not a credit card in the UK sense, since it only allows me to spend up to the balance on my bank account. For example, if I have a balance of €5000 I can only spend that much. What I want is a card that will enable me to spend say €6000 on a holiday and pay it off as and when I choose (obviously taking a hit on interest charges). This is what I mean by short-term borrowing and it's how all credit cards work in the UK.
You can do that with CIC Bank pre arranged credit limit and you can decide what things to pay with it and what to just come out of your normal account.

Credit here from banks tends to be tied to your normal bank account unless you have a store credit card like for Darty or Ikea but they will let you have cash as well at a higher rate obviously. Imho store credit is far to easy to get here.
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Last edited by Chatter Static; Oct 26th 2017 at 9:55 am.
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Old Oct 26th 2017, 10:31 am   #5
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Default Re: French credit cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by viennesewaltz View Post
What I want is a card that will enable me to spend say €6000 on a holiday and pay it off as and when I choose (obviously taking a hit on interest charges). This is what I mean by short-term borrowing and it's how all credit cards work in the UK.
Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to negotiate a short term loan, since as you say that is effectively what it is?

Credit/borrowing does seem to be more tightly controlled in France than in the UK, there are quite strict laws to help prevent surendettement by restricting what lenders can lend. Keeping your UK credit cards when you move is handy if you can do it
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 5:14 am   #6
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Default Re: French credit cards

https://www.cartedecredit.fr/
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 11:17 am   #7
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Default Re: French credit cards

Thanks for that link, very helpful. The Carte Zero Gold Mastercard looks interesting.

Last edited by viennesewaltz; Oct 27th 2017 at 11:19 am.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 11:53 am   #8
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by viennesewaltz View Post
The Carte Zero Gold Mastercard looks interesting.
Do read the small print VW, and particularly how much interest you'll be charged if you don't make the full payment every month. I don't know about this particular one but "fee free*" cards usually make their money from people who set off with the intention of never paying any fees because they're going to clear their card in full every month, and then one month they don't and they get clobbered with very very high interest rates, and from that point on the amount outstanding starts mushrooming until in the end, your monthly payment is just about paying off the interest and the amount you actually owe never seems to get any less. If you are actually planning on paying off the credit over an extended period, then if it's going to be something like 20% interest it would be an expensive way of borrowing.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 12:16 pm   #9
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Default Re: French credit cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Do read the small print VW, and particularly how much interest you'll be charged if you don't make the full payment every month. I don't know about this particular one but "fee free*" cards usually make their money from people who set off with the intention of never paying any fees because they're going to clear their card in full every month, and then one month they don't and they get clobbered with very very high interest rates, and from that point on the amount outstanding starts mushrooming until in the end, your monthly payment is just about paying off the interest and the amount you actually owe never seems to get any less. If you are actually planning on paying off the credit over an extended period, then if it's going to be something like 20% interest it would be an expensive way of borrowing.
sorry ET but this did make me smile....
it's a bit like the "don't take drugs" advice we all got at school! The slippery slope...

Everyone knows that this is how credit cards work. Great so long as you pay them off. However, sometimes having that bit of extra time to pay a larger than expected bill can be a godsend. And I don't necessarily agree that it is an expensive way to borrow in the very short term.

Any kind of bank loan comes with arrangement fees and interest. They also take time to sort out, especially in France!
An overdraft arrangement also comes with fees and interest and may not be granted.
Taking money out of a long term savings account - especially one designed to minimize tax bills - can be expensive too in terms of having to pay the tax and indeed you may not be allowed to without penalty.
For something like a few thousand euros over a few months, a credit card might well be the cheapest way to borrow.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 1:00 pm   #10
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Everyone knows that this is how credit cards work.
Yes of course everybody knows how credit cards work in principle, but the devil is in the detail isn't it. The OP said "obviously taking a hit on interest charges" but how big a hit is a hit, you don't necessarily expect to pay 20.6% interest, I don't think UK credit cards charge that much do they? So all I was saying was, check the specific rate of interest, not just the general principle. If you borrowed 3000€ would be happy to pay up to 47€ interest a month, maybe you would but I would consider it a rip off.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 1:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Yes of course everybody knows how credit cards work in principle, but the devil is in the detail isn't it. The OP said "obviously taking a hit on interest charges" but how big a hit is a hit, you don't necessarily expect to pay 20.6% interest, I don't think UK credit cards charge that much do they? So all I was saying was, check the specific rate of interest, not just the general principle. If you borrowed 3000€ would be happy to pay up to 47€ interest a month, maybe you would but I would consider it a rip off.
I don't like how someone can come on this forum and ask a simple question - can I get a credit card? - be given advice that wasn't what they asked for and then a whole load of judgemental "advice" gets heaped on them and then me for providing an answer to their original question.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 1:38 pm   #12
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Default Re: French credit cards

Gosh, how exciting! I didn't expect my little question to generate such heat. I do tend to agree with petitefrancaise though. The question was how I get a credit card, not whether I should get one.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 1:43 pm   #13
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Default Re: French credit cards

Oh my heavens, sorry I posted.
It never occurred to me that a heads up to check the interest rate, which isn't obvious on their website site and isn't the usual UK interest rate, amounts to heaping a whole load of judgemental advice on someone. To me it tied in with the point that the OP made him or herself that credit cards in France are less mainstream therefore less competitive rates.
I think CS has the right attitude, I can't be arsed any more either. All yours.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 4:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Oh my heavens, sorry I posted.
It never occurred to me that a heads up to check the interest rate, which isn't obvious on their website site and isn't the usual UK interest rate, amounts to heaping a whole load of judgemental advice on someone. To me it tied in with the point that the OP made him or herself that credit cards in France are less mainstream therefore less competitive rates.
I think CS has the right attitude, I can't be arsed any more either. All yours.
I reckon the detailed advise you gave was excellent, whether it directly answered the OP's question or not is beside the point. You took the time to give some related banking advise, and I for one learnt a little.
Shame the OP and others didn't see it the same way.
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Old Oct 27th 2017, 4:57 pm   #15
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Default Re: French credit cards

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Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I don't like how someone can come on this forum and ask a simple question - can I get a credit card? - be given advice that wasn't what they asked for and then a whole load of judgemental "advice" gets heaped on them and then me for providing an answer to their original question.
There are several knowledgable and wise posters on this forum who provide advice and helpful commentary for free on their own time and based on their own experiences. At times that has included you.

It's not unusual for extra relevant discussion to arise. Even irrelevant remarks are common. Such as yours.
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